JULY 17 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JULY 17 2016.
IN OUR 21st YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA BOARD TALK, how long before candidates get their ACMA licence. -
Visit to WIA HQ by Paul VK5PAS and Andrew VK6AS, Board Directors. -
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2016 AND FOR WEEK OF JUL 17
ACMA spectrum planning forum
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will be hosting a
spectrum planning work program to update industry on its current spectrum
planning projects and ongoing activities, to held tomorrow 18 July in
Australia's mainland Capital, Canberra.
The forum will highlight recent work including expiring spectrum licences,
mobile broadband, IoT, government spectrum use, TOB planning, radio licence
areas and digital television planning, as well as TV reception investigations.
The ACMA through its Spectrum Planning and Engineering Branch is
responsible for national radiofrequency planning for broadcasting and
radiocommunications services, the regulation and coordination of satellite
networks and the filing of satellite networks with the International
Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).
The seminar will take place at the ACMA Canberra office but will also be
videoconferenced to the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane ACMA offices.
(Sourced to VK7WI News)
Home of Australia's first satellite is at it again
The Melbourne University is now designing a CubeSat, and hopefully will have
it ready for launch in 2018.
The same university built Australia's first Amateur Radio satellite
Australis-OSCAR-5, that was launched on 23 January 23, 1970. It was then the
first Amateur Radio satellite built outside of the United States.
Australis-OSCAR-5 was a beacon on 29.450 MHz and 144.050 MHz with telemetry
starting with H I sent in Morse code, with sensors giving the battery voltage,
temperature and the satellite's orientation.
Passive magnetic attitude stabilisation was achieved by two bar magnets to
align with the Earth's magnetic field to provide a favourable antenna footprint.
Built on a small budget, it had bed springs for deploying the bird, and a cut
down metallic measuring tape for antennas that extended from the sides of the
At least 200 observers heard it reporting from 27 countries up to 46 days
before going silent when its batteries failed.
Today, Melbourne University Engineering Department students are working on the
CubeSat project and restoring the Melbourne University old dish tracking
antenna getting it ready for launch day.
Despite its small size the satellite's state-of-the-art communications system
can send more data than other satellites, because of a world-first antenna
that uses a special acid for inflation in space.
The new CubeSat could potentially find applications in agriculture,
weather monitoring or even as a telescope in space.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
David VK4HAX tells WIA News that yet another High Altitude Balloon Experiment
was a huge success.
Bundy Amateur Radio Club - The HABE group "Hi - Altitude Balloon Experiment"
travelled to Roma for the launch..
Apart from the usual payload of APRS / GPS / GoPro Camera on board, they also
had a Cross-Band 70cms/2Mtr radio
20 minutes into the flight, some 22 contacts with VK4 Amateurs.
The balloon reached just under 33,000mtrs - Once the balloon burst, the
payload returned to Earth approx. 78kms from the launch site.
After a 2-hour trek into the bush using direction finding equipment to locate
Dave says "It was a very amazing experience for everyone involved."
Geocaching /ˈdʒiːoʊˌkʃɪŋ/ is an outdoor recreational activity, in which
participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device
and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called
"geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook (with a
pen or pencil). The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with
their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed
back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic
storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain
items for trading, such as toys or trinkets.
Geo Caching and Ham Radio have for over 20 years gone hand in hand, a great
outdoor activity on the way to your next 'Summit."
Geocaching shares many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering,
treasure-hunting, letterboxing, and waymarking.
Now enters - Pokmon Go.
Played using a smart phone or tablet this new game based on the now nostalgic
Pokemon game gives the ability for individuals to be lured to certain real-life
area by in-game rewards.
On launch day, June 6 2016, the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency
Services reminded players to "look up, away from your phone and both ways
before crossing the street".
Furthermore, the app has led players to congregate near strangers' homes.
Other incidents include minor fall injuries and armed robberies. The app was
also criticized for using locations such as graveyards and memorials as sites
to catch Pokemon.
The Darwin Police Station has demanded players not to enter the station to
catch Pokmon, while the Silverton Fire District revealed that players who
drive around the station or stop in restricted areas to catch pokemon with the
game have become an obstacle to the work of their firefighters, causing
Just be carefull a Pokemon Frillious is not lurking atop your 20 meter beam!
(interweb / wikipedia)
WIA BOARD TALK
How long before candidates get their ACMA licence
It can take up to six weeks from a successful WIA assessment before the
Australian Communications and Media Authority issues its licence invoice.
This time is necessary so that the paperwork can checked, a Certificate of
Proficiency issued, callsign recommendation made, and licence application
WIA assessors in briefing candidates about procedure make the processing time
If the ACMA has an email address it will email its licence invoice.
If not, the correspondence is via Australia Post and will take a bit longer.
Visit to WIA HQ by Paul VK5PAS and Andrew VK6AS, Board Directors
Recently, Paul VK5PAS the other new to the Board director and I (VK6AS)
visited the WIA office in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Andersson house
is a spacious building owned outright thanks to a legacy from Henry Andersson
VK8HA, silent key.
There is space for all of the WIA's gear including a library, historical
section and the unique and certainly one of the largest, collection of QSL
cards. The building and its contents are a major asset.
Unlike the RSGB with dozens and the ARRL with hundreds of staff there are just
two full timers, Bruce the Executive Administrator and Petra the Examination
Officer. Their work rate is prodigious, the phone didn't stop ringing and the
emails arrived continuously all day. Since reorganisation the efficiency of
responses has greatly improved. The failings, unfortunately are when the
request cannot be handled directly by the office and are referred to a
volunteer as a speedy response cannot be guaranteed. Volunteers are exactly
that and can't always put their hobby first. Paul and I are both of the opinion
that a simple ticketing process to flag such issues would be a good idea to
help the staff. This is to be discussed further.
We also had the opportunity to examine the workings of "Memnet", the commercial
software that handles most things to do with your membership such as details of
your subscription etc. This program is an extremely important system for the
WIA and the Board is investigating its role for the future, especially with
some new developments by the software company.
We were ably hosted by Fred VK3DAC, who spends a lot of time in the office as
an advisor and whose knowledge is a huge asset, the Board must consider
succession planning for key volunteers such as Fred. As part of our discussions
we touched on some automation of the exams service and Fred believes that the
ACMA would be likely to be very onside with attempts to simplify both our and
their processes to reduce paper work, whilst maintaining compliance. This is
however, in the future and we must await developments.
One thing that became immediately apparent to Paul and I, is the huge cost for
the Institute's postage and it is important for the Board to look at ways of
reducing such costs. The biggest single item, is that of the delivery of AR
magazine. It would be a sad day to see the loss of a print edition, just
because of financial issues.
A long day, but well worth it. Just remember, it's true though, Melbourne does
have four seasons in one day, well we had three as there was certainly no sign
Please be in touch with the WIA, contact is best made via wia.org.au in the
Thanks for your attention this is WIA director Andrew VK6AS
Remembering the Fallen - the Western Front 100 years on
The patriotic fervour in which Australian young men responded to the call to
arms, seems incongruous in our contemporary society.
Between 1914 and 1918, 420,000 Australians enlisted, nearly 39 per cent of
males aged between 18 and 44. A further 2,861 women joined the Australian Army
Nursing Service. They were all volunteers, and historical archives give some
indication as to the motivation to enlist - excitement, adventure, and
"after all it would all be over by Christmas."
Wireless communications had been developed prior to the Great War by the
Marconi and Telefunken companies, using a magnetic detector to replace the
troublesome coherer, and a degree of flexibility was found in the Mule Pack
Sets for portable operation. During the same period, armament manufactures
we're producing belt-fed water cooled heavy machine guns, quick firing artillery
with improved optical ranging, which largely attributed to the carnage of the
Commander in Chief of British forces, Field Marshal Haig, had little time for
new military ideas and was very much steeped in the ways that he knew,
infantry and horses.
The agrarian Commonwealth troops would lead one mighty push in the valley of
Somme, enabling the cavalry to break out, as they have always done in the past.
The aim was for Fromelles and the Pozires' Heights to be battle fulcrum.
However, this distorted view, which was lacking in appreciation of the new
mechanised war, led to the loss of 400,000 Allied troops.
The forebears of members of the Geelong Amateur Radio Club were to be found in
the armed forces of all combatants in the Great War.
This is not about victors and vanquished, rather it offers an opportunity to
pause and remember the annihilation of a generation, who now lie side by side
in the cemeteries of France and Flanders.
Geelong Amateur Radio Club is activating the commemorative VK 100 ANZAC from
midday Tuesday 19th July until midday Thursday 21st. This will be from
Osborne House in North Geelong, on HF and VHF.
Contact is expected with the Radio Club of Northern French F8KKH, in the city
In a sense, the log of contacts will be an Honour Board of those identifying
with all others in remembering those wounded and killed at Fromelles and
Pozires, a century ago.
In Addition a number of letters have been sent to mark the centennial. The
Wireless Institute of Australia has written to their French equivalent
Rseau des metteurs Franais.
The City of Greater Geelong to the Mayor of Roubaix.
And the Victorian Minister for Veterans Affairs has formally contacted the
Premier of the French Region of Pas de Calais-Picardy by letter , which in
part states: "Since that appalling conflict, there has existed a bond of
friendship between the peoples of Australia and France in the knowledge that
so many of the youth of both countries lie together, and are remembered, at
the Fromelles Memorial Park, Pozires , Villers Bretonneux and on many other
Lest We Forget
I am Barry Abley VK3SY for the Geelong Amateur Radio Club, and you are
listening to VK1WIA.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
China's new radio observatory is 200 metres larger than Arecibo
For half a century, the US National Science Foundation's Arecibo telescope,
in Puerto Rico, has been the world's largest radio observatory. It measures
305 meters across and among other major discoveries has confirmed the existence
of neutron stars.
The observatory also featured prominently in the movie Contact.
But now a Chinese observatory has superseded Arecibo. According to China's
Xinhua news service, installation of the 500-meter FAST radio telescope is
complete, with the last triangular reflector put into place.
The observatory is expected to begin observing the heavens in September.
Read more on:
Amateur radio's response has to be real, whether the earthquake is the real
thing too, or just simulated, as was the case in western Canada.
Amateur Radio reports the special effects company spared no effort when it
came to simulating the devastating after effects of a magnitude 9 earthquake,
but this Pacific Coast scene wasn't conjured up by some Hollywood script. This
was the West Coast of Canada's Vancouver Island, where disabled landlines and
knocked-out cellular service could have been real, but weren't.
What WAS real, however, were the Canadian Forces patrol planes flying over the
Rockies, and the ham radio operators on the ground, relaying disaster and
rescue information to them using amateur radio frequencies.
The fictional earthquake was followed by at least two equally fictional
tsunamis, bringing disaster to Port Alberni, northwest of Victoria, Canada.
That region is home to about 18,000 people -- and that part is NOT fiction.
Hence the need for the drill, called Exercise Coastal Response.
In all, more than 600 people and 60 organizations took part in the three-day
response staged by the government of British Columbia and thankfully, not
Lest any detractors of Morse Code hold firm in their belief that there is
nothing at all natural about Samuel Morse's form of telegraphy - well,
A great story written by Amateur Radio Newsline Editor Caryn Eve Murray
from this week's bulletin in the USA says CW apparently is as natural as the
universe itself. In fact, scientists have recently discovered dots and dashes
growing in the wild. That's right, wild, organically grown Code. It's not even
cultivated with a paddle or a straight key.
The messages were spotted recently on Mars by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter, carved into the dark dunes of a field lying just below the north pole.
Were Martians perhaps having their own version of Field Day? Were the hams there
trying for their Worked All Planets award?
Well, geophysicists do have an explanation - as scientists often do. In a
press release, the agency explained the patterns that sculpted the sand in
such a meaningful way. Bi-directional winds are what carved the long dashes,
and the dots, well, those are still something of a mystery, though they have a
name: barchanoid dunes.
The decoded message turns out to be sheer nonsense - at least for Earthlings'
ears - beginning with the phrase: "NEE NED Z-B 6-T-N-N" and so forth.
What does it all mean? Good question. We'll keep our ears tuned to the sky.
Perhaps the Reconnaissance Orbiter may next happen upon some hams in the dunes
engaging in Single Side Band or .....even another kind of Mars Code.
The Power of Green
Operating on the power of sun and wind at a site in Ireland, one noted
contester has his hopes as high as the hill he works from. Here's RSGB and
Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeremy Boot, G4NJH.
It's summer, and Olivier ON4EI/EI8GQB is back on his familiar hilltop in
Ireland. More than any other radio amateur, he is truly in his elements. In
his case, these elements happen to be mostly wind and sun -- and he is using
both to power his station.
Olivier has big plans. His blog on QRZ.COM describes his antenna park and the
rest of his station, reminiscent of a Field Day setup: He'll be on the air from
now until the 12th of August, using six antennas and two radios operating on
Any successes he has he will owe to band conditions, skilled operation and
green energy, call sign EI1A in the Island on the Air Contest from 30 July to
Olivier writes in his blog: QUOTE "Wow! What a pleasure to be back again on
the hill and being alone for two weeks in the middle of nature. This place is
my lonely paradise where I can refill my social batteries." ENDQUOTE
Of course, he will also be recharging his scorecard's batteries.
He'll need them to qualify for the World Radiosport Team Championship in
Germany. As ambitions go, that's pretty powerful too, green energy or not.
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
Music on the go with a helmet stick-on
Just when you thought bike riders had enough gadgets, many now fitted with
head cameras to capture the action, comes a helmet accessory to bring them
radio or music programs in the move.
A stick-on to the outside of safety helmets transforms the shell into echo
chambers through the use of micro-vibration technology.
Time will tell if the idea catches on among consumers on bikes, skateboards
or skiing on the slopes
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2016
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7
Remembrance or RD Contest August 13-14
The 19th International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend Aug 20-21
36th ALARA Contest is on the last full weekend in August, Aug 27-28.
Ham Radio On The Ferries 12th of March
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 5 - 6
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 4 - 5
Special event station W 1 N will travel from the Texas Motor Speedway to
Minneapolis between July 15 and July 24 to highlight the 2016 Solar Car
Challenge. Several teams include students and adult advisors who are radio
amateurs who wanted to operate a special event station during the Solar Car
Activity will ramp up July 16-24, 0500 to 2359 UTC.
W1N will be on the air with a portable operation from the Texas Motor Speedway
before the vehicles set off on the road. During the on-the-road event, W1N will
have a mobile station and portable stations active as the cars move north
Mobile activity will be on 20 meters, centring around 14.343 MHz.
Operation from portable sites will take place on 6, 10, and 15 meters.
QSL to KF 5 RVR.
(sourced to ARRL)
Churches and Chapels on the Air
Churches and Chapels on the Air will take place on Saturday 10th September.
If you or your club intend to put a station on please register that
station with John, G3XYF, by email, to email@example.com.
A full list of registered participants can be found on
CP 1 XRM from Bolivia until early August.
HF bands running 100W to a vertical and using solar power.
QSL to EA5RM
8 P 6 NN and 8 P 6 MM from Barbados, respectively, until 21st July.
Barbados is IOTA reference NA-021.
Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands.
QSL both calls via KE 1 B.
JT 5 FW to 19th July from Mongolia.
Activity will be on the HF bands.
QSL via RZ 3 FW.
RA 1 ALA/0 from Kuril Island, IOTA AS-025, until 18th July.
Activity will be on 40, 20, 15 and 10m.
QSL to home call RA 1 ALA
World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio. The WWFF programme wants to draw
attention to the importance of protecting nature, flora and fauna. In this
spirit, amateur radio operators set up, operate their radio stations from
designated nature parks and protected nature areas - generating attention for
these areas whilst giving the amateur radio community an interesting activity to
contact. WWFF is an international and non-commercial program run by the
coordinators of a large number of national Flora and Fauna programmes.
Dennis, ZS4BS, and Sid, ZS5AYC, have been in contact with the WWFF Council to
register the ZSFF Programme.
At present there are 30 South African nature areas registered with WWFF, which
includes the 19 Parks managed by the National Parks Board.
The many other nature parks and protected nature areas in South Africa
will be added to the ZSFF directory and documentation will be made available
later about the ZSFF programme.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- FINAL FRONTIER
Two Amateur Radio licensees are part of the International Space Station crew
increment who arrived on the orbiting outpost this week.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, KG5FYJ, astronaut Takuya Onishi, KF5LKS, of the
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency , and cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of
Roscosmos launched early on July 7 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The trio will spend approximately 4 months on station and will return to Earth
An upgraded Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft carried Rubins, Onishi, and Ivanishin into
space. They tested modified systems for 2 days 34 Earth orbits before
docking with the ISS on July 9.
According to NASA, the modified Soyuz is equipped with upgraded thrusters
that are fully redundant, additional micrometeoroid debris shielding,
redundant electrical motors for the Soyuz docking probe, and increased power
(though not quite warp speed Scotty) with more photovoltaic cells on the
spacecraft's solar arrays.
This week's launch marked the first of at least two missions in which enhanced
Soyuz hardware will be tested and verified.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RADIO AMATEUR YOUNG TIMERS
A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.
Kids crucial to future of ham radio
In the North West of the USA, 1 of the Stanwood Camano Amateur Radio Club's
goals is to raise youths' interest in radio communication. Participation by
kids will be crucial to the advancement of radio technologies for future
The Stanwood Camano News reports:
Communication with the rest of the world has become so simple these days, we
often take it for granted.
Need to find out how to reach someone? We have a mini-computer in our pocket.
Want to know what is happening on the other side of the state? Hop on the
internet and you can find out.
But what would you do if a disaster wiped out mobile phone reception and made
the interweb inaccessible?
That was just one of subjects the Stanwood Camano Amateur Radio Club (SCARC)
covered during its annual Amateur Radio Field Day at the Stanwood Camano
Read the full story at
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RESCUE RADIO
IARU REGION 3
Emergency Centre of Activity (CoA) frequencies
3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz
Play with radios out in the field to the sound of high performance machinery.
Scribe Start or Flying Finish times onto competitor time cards and relay safety,
timing and logistic info to and from Rally Control and points.
Operate at Rally Control or at a point out in the forests.
Primary comms are VHF between points and Rally Control, UHF-CB between Start,
Flying Finish and Stop on each special stage.
You will also have some time between competitor runs to play with HF amongst
Fri arvo 5 to Sun morn 7 August - TCAC Cardwell Rally - in the Cardwell and
Kennedy State Forests of North Queensland
More info or to help contact Gavin/VK4ZZ on email
Radio ham helped kids camp surrounded by fire
Amateur radio was used to summon assistance when power was lost at a
summer camp ranch surrounded by fire
The St George News in the USA reports:
Lynden Kendrick KG7SXQ was talking on his radio to a fellow ham in Idaho,
via a system of unmanned amateur radio repeaters linked up and down the
state of Utah and into Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
Michael K2UZ called in, saying the children's ranch where he works was
surrounded by fire. The Lovell Canyon Ranch, is a summer camp ranch designed
for at-risk and special needs children.
Firefighters were controlling the blaze, but the power was out as were the
telephones, internet and cell phone service. Hilbert asked Kendrick to call
the local electric company and let them know.
Kendrick immediately found the phone number for Valley Electric and got on the
telephone with them. With a bit of back-and-forth between the radio and
telephone, Kendrick was able to have the power company dispatch someone to the
ranch to restore power.
Read the full story on
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - VHF AND ABOVE (The Plumbers Delight)
New 47GHz record
A new distance record was set on 47GHz between Whiteface Mountain in New
York at FN34bi and on Mont Tremblant in Quebec at FN26rf.
The distance was calculated at 215km, 133 miles, a new US-Canada record on
the band. Congratulations to N1JEZ, KT1J, VE2UG and VE3FN.
Closer to home, Northern vk7 Activity on 3.4 GHz
VK7WI News has caught up with the efforts of 7JG in converting his 3.3 GHz Wi-Fi
unit to the 3.4GHz band
Joe, VK7JG and Peter, VK7PD have had a noise free voice QSO between their home
QTHs using FM on the 3.4GHz band. The path is not optical so the signals had to
be reflected by Mt Barrow. During the contact VK7PD held a sheet of metal in
front of the panel antenna, momentarily, and the signal disappeared, thus
allaying any fears of IF breakthrough.
The equipment used was a pair of modified data transceivers purchased from the
Geelong Amateur Radio Club, this project was featured in the June edition of
AR magazine. The units were originally intended for Wi-Fi use on the 3.3GHz band,
they consist of a 300mm square panel antenna with the electronics on a PCB
enclosed within a waterproof cover behind the antenna. The modification
converts them into a transverter for the 3.4GHz amateur band; they require a
70cm transceiver as a tuneable IF.
Both transceivers have been mounted on tripods to permit portable operation in
the field; they are powered by 12 volt batteries.
Joe used a hand held 70cm FM radio as the tuneable IF and Peter an FT-817. The
latter permits SSB or digital operation for future longer distance contacts.
Meanwhile it is planned to try some medium distance communication within VK7
and, when propagation conditions permit, a contact across Bass Strait to
This appears to be the first contact on the 3.4GHz band between and by VK7s.
SOCIAL SCENE 2016
Aug 7 VK6 NCRG HamFest 9am Cyril Jackson Community Hall Ashfield (vk6rk)
Aug 28 VK2 Summerland (Lismore) HamFest at Clubrooms. (vk2src)
Sep 18 VK2 Westlake's AR Club field day Teralba (J Green)
Sep 23-25 VK4 Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club AGM weekend
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald. (theTARCinc)
Sep-Oct 30-3 VK4 Cardwell Gathering Long Weekend, Beachcomber Motel(theTARCinc)
Nov 6 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am (VK5KC)
Nov 26 VK3 Rosebud RadioFest 9:30 am till 2pm (vk3pdg)
Nov 26 VK7 Miena HamFest Saturday 26th. (vk7wi txt)
March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont (VK3BQ)
May 19 VK WIA AGM Hahndorf some 25km from Adelaide (vk5kc)
Aug/Sep date to be advised - ALARAMEET 2017 in Cairns (vk4swe)
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